Silver Spoon Fit for a Royal?

The Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton last month boasted a cake fit for a prince and his bride; it’s a "traditional fruitcake made by Fiona Cairns" with over 900 leaf and floral touches. Perhaps a silver spoon fit for a future queen will be used to serve it up?

Blackbeard was no stranger to the high life, and his flagship the Queen Anne's Revenge, carried in her hold a large silver spoon, known as a 'cannon-handled' serving spoon, that was typically made between 1680 and 1720.

The artifact (top photo above), recovered by the Department of Cultural Resources underwater archaeologists, is in the conservation stage and the concretions on the handle have not yet been completely removed. Yet, it’s been identified by the team as a “Queen Anne silver cannon-handle basting spoon.”

Volunteer Linda F. Carnes-McNaughton, Ph.D., historic artifact analyst and ceramic specialist, describes it this way:

The handle is a portion of a large, hollow tube basting spoon, creatively called a 'cannon-handled' serving spoon.  The bowl portion comes away from the hollow tube, as it's made in two pieces. The hollow handle was an invention to prevent burning the hands of the user. Eventually the hollow tube was proven to be impractical because it was easily bent or split.

The QAR team found a similar spoon held in the collection of a London museum. It  dates to 1707 and has the maker's mark of Mattthew Lofthouse, London and is described as tapering circular handle (hollow) with a decorative finial in the shape a cannon cascabel, hence the name. The spoon bowl was detachable (missing from our handle) and often had the maker's mark.

Mark Wilde-Ramsing, Ph.D., Deputy State Archaeologist, says he hopes we’ll discover the spoon bowl that matches this in the future.

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